From NASA to Michigan Made Gryphon Gear

Posted By Amanda Lewan on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 13:50

Dr. Gary Benninger is a lifelong inventor, innovator, climber and seasoned mountaineer. He earned his doctorate in Physics [in 1970], and has been hiking, climbing and creating gear for himself and friends for 40+ years. After working for NASA and leading a Fortune 500 automotive supplier, he has decided to take his passion for creating down-lined garments and keeping warm to the next level.

As an explorer, he’s hiked mountains all over the world, including peaks in Alaska and Colorado. His love for adventure and cold-weather hiking has lead him to many nights on the mountain in sub-zero temperatures, winds in excess of 30 mph and snow drifts so deep they hide a tent.

All of this experience and scientific knowledge has led him to design a different type of mountain gear, made from lighter-weight materials. The use of goose down and patent-pending designs help keep the gear light for travel, but warm for sleeping in the mountains.

“The idea is to keep you warm for a minimum amount of weight,” said Dr. Benninger.

In the early 1970’s, he began making sleeping bags and parkas for his friends when they ventured into the mountains. He has since perfected and patented his products. He describes them as a mixture of “science, the best materials, craftsmanship and 40 years of experience.”

The coldest nights he remembers from his adventures were at 25 degrees below zero in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. That night everyone slept warm with the bags and coats made by Dr. Benninger. We’re excited to share his new website, live now at  All of the products are built to order and made right here in the USA.  

What to Expect Next
Gryphon Gear is working on a few new patent pending tents and sleeping bags that will be out very soon. Make sure to stop by to get your warm gear from this Michigan made manufacturer.